After incurring an injury last summer, it took me a good few months to recover and rediscover my motivation to run. But I soon realised that it’s okay to have lost some fitness; we all experience injury at some point. What matters is how we bounce back.
Sometimes all that is needed is a simple nudge in the right direction. For me, getting into the routine of doing my local parkrun every Saturday was a great way to ease back into it and challenge myself. As a friendly and non-competitive run for all abilities, it acted as a great reminder that it doesn’t matter what level you’re at, as long as you’re feeling good and pushing forwards. As they say, the only person you should compete against is yourself.
During December I was averaging about 27:30 for 5k, so have set myself the goal of running a sub-25 minute 5k. Yesterday, my 11th parkrun saw me edge closer to this with 26:02! *does a victory dance when the parkrun text comes through* I’d like to think my lucky number of 11 worked its magic, though I have a suspicion that the usually-muddy-but-today-frozen-solid terrain was the main factor involved here. I should perhaps also have worn more than a short-sleeved t-shirt in freezing temperatures, but hey, it made me run faster!
I was recently inspired to start a training diary, which I hope to keep up throughout the year. As someone who last year found writing page-long journal entries too time-consuming, this sounded like a good alternative. Jotting down a quick note each day may be a lot more achievable and realistic, so that’s the plan! It is my hope that recording my thoughts and totting up the mileage as I go on will act as a good motivator.
When it comes to races, I went for the ‘varied’ approach, shall we say, and set myself a few goals for 2016 including the Reading Half Marathon, my first triathlon and my first Tough Mudder. It is set to be an interesting and exciting year, that’s for sure. There might also be a marathon on the cards, but that’s a thought for another day!
I am imagining the year ahead like a set of stepping-stones. You can build up from whatever point you’re currently at; take a step forward and the rest will follow. I’m on a journey to rebuild my fitness and work towards my goal races for this year. What will your journey be?